This blog is the second in a series of four profiling NetApp’s August 2017 Living Our Values (LOV) winners and honorable mentions. The company’s Living Our Values awards is peer-nominated and peer-judged recognition and gives winners the highest visibility possible in the company. The series began with a profile of Senior Business Analyst Fran Melia, Americas region LOV winner and this blog highlights EMEA region LOV winner and Senior Marketing Manager Stephanie Testut. Blogs about the APAC region winners (the APAC Legal team) and one about the six honorable mentions will post in later weeks.
In late August 2017, NetApp’s Senior Marketing Manager Stephanie Testut embarked on a secret mission that involved a surprise trip from Paris to the company’s Sunnyvale headquarters. She had been invited to be present at the August 29 company-wide All Hands. Stephanie was not only an honored guest but one of the three Living Our Values (LOV) Award winners, whose identity was to be revealed during the meeting—and the honoree representing NetApp’s EMEA region.
Afterward, while the winners were feted at a celebratory lunch and met with select NetApp executives, Stephanie thought back on the events of the morning. She had been called up onstage by NetApp CEO George Kurian, who presented her with a trophy, to the applause of hundreds attending and she found the experience “awesome.”
What Stephanie believes is most special about her LOV Award, however, is that her own colleagues recognize that she lives NetApp’s values. “I don’t think a lot of companies have this kind of recognition,” she says. “It’s so great that anyone from any department or role—quota bearing or not—can win and that winners are flown here for this special day. The company would not be the same without LOV.”
Nominations by Stephanie’s peers set the wheels in motion for her memorable trip to Sunnyvale. Each called out her relatively new “hybrid” role in EMEA Marketing—managing two completely different but equally critical teams—and her unique ability to adapt to the diverse priorities, timelines and goals of each.
In addition to working on a multitude of activities such as partner events and partner marketing programs, Stephanie leads the EMEA Partner Marketing Team and the Southern Europe Marketing Team. Both teams have different goals, programs and strategies. The EMEA Partner Team’s focus is on enabling all EMEA countries to successfully drive NetApp partner demand and create a positive partner experience. The Southern Europe Marketing Team focuses on building the right marketing strategy and plan to generate demand for NetApp and to help grow and win market share in the region.
“A big challenge of my role is one of constant prioritization; I always need to find the best way to manage the most important projects on these two different teams,” she says.
Despite the hybrid role challenges, nominations from Stephanie’s peers describe how she responds and adapts to change with graciousness and finesse. All mentioned how Stephanie implements new strategies and campaigns both fast and reliably—all while keeping pace with the rapidly evolving world of tech marketing.
You can’t adapt to change if you don’t believe in the change. You need to personally believe in the vision because if you lead a project and you don’t believe in it, then you will fail. You need to understand the strategy and why it is important and try to see how you can make it real. –Stephanie
Stephanie says her secrets to remaining adaptable are communicating well and picking the right battles—always asking herself if a specific action will drive results, help her team and help the company—before taking on a new commitment. And adaptability can also mean staying out of the way at times and allowing the experts on her teams, whom she says she trusts “200 percent,” to lead and work their magic.
Stephanie meets the constant challenges of her hybrid role by simply going beyond to help her people and her peers. “They are NetApp’s ambassadors; they love NetApp, but they need to be equipped,” she says. “Helping them with any challenge is more important to me than anything else because they are the pillar of our success. And I want them to love their job, because that motivation helps them be successful.” Nominators also say that she develops her teams to look at opportunities with “creative eyes and an open mind.”
I try my best to always deliver the most positive experience to the audience, whether it’s a colleague, a partner or a customer. It’s really important to take the time to adapt communications and projects to make it easy for others to drive an initiative.–Stephanie
Stephanie’s international peers with whom she works closely, describe frequent late-night calls with her where she energetically gives them welcome advice and coaching.
Get Things Done
During launch times, the pressure is on to develop a compelling channel partner proposition, build a comprehensive channel plan, craft robust partner launch communications and provide the right sales, marketing and communications resources to partners. When last-minute partner communications are required, Stephanie sits down and gets them done, and many times, together with her team. “She not only does things fast but also with a sound professional skillset, always keeping the field requirements as her biggest focus,” says one nominator.
The Next Call for Nominations
Stephanie herself also wrote LOV nominations for several of her colleagues. She says she made extra time to do so, because she believes it’s important to say thank-you and because she believes it’s important to make people a priority.
“We don’t get recognized this way for outstanding performance or bringing in a lot of revenue; this is proof that NetApp cares about the values and ethics of its employees,” she says. “When everyone saw us onstage, I hoped that they realized the importance of nominating their colleagues. NetApp is a great company with a great culture, where you have a lot of trust from your leadership. If you have the right idea and it’s in line with corporate strategy, you have the power to make things happen—and that is truly unique.”